As we have previously blogged, Prof Ian Hargreaves published an independent report into intellectual property in the UK in May 2011, titled Digital Opportunity, A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth.  This independent review was set up by the UK Government in November 2010.  

The UK Government has now published its response to the report, announcing plans to modernise UK Intellectual Property to support economic growth.  The Government agreed with Hargreaves that the IP framework is falling behind and must adapt to innovation, creativity and new technology.

The Government response adopted a number of the recommendations of the Hargreaves review.  The full Government Response is available here.  In brief, the key features of the Government’s response are:

  • creating a Digital Copyright Exchange, a “digital market place” where copyright licenses can be readily bought and sold;
  • introducing a number of new copyright exceptions for limited private purpose copying and parodies.
  • widening the exception for non commercial research so that it covers the technique known as ‘text and data mining’;
  • creating licensing procedures for ‘orphan works’ (works where the author is unknown);
  • the creation of a cross-border licensing framework within the EU;
  • publishing minimum standards and voluntary codes for Collecting Societies to increase transparency and good governance; and
  • introduce wider exceptions into EU law to provide increased flexibility and adaptability for new technologies, including use of data for research.  The Government supported a wider review of EU legislation.

The Government has also published a new intellectual property crime strategy and an international strategy for intellectual property.